The secret of Evelyn's remedy is discovered. Dave begins to suspect that Georgie is deaf. Margot gets a visit from boyfriend Wayne.

First broadcast ... 1981 (Melbourne)
Broadcast on Channel 5 Tuesday 30 December 1997 23:35
DVD release: volume 12 disc 1 (AUS)
Duration: 00:45:19

Meg ~ Elspeth Ballantyne
Judy ~ Betty Bobbitt
Lizzie ~ Sheila Florance
Erica ~ Patsy King
Bea ~ Val Lehman
Jim ~ Gerard Maguire
Doreen ~ Colette Mann
Vera ~ Fiona Spence
Evelyn ~ Julia Blake
David ~ Serge Lazareff
Georgie ~ Tracey Mann
Sandra ~ Candy Raymond
Margo ~ Jane Clifton
Wayne ~ Vince Gil
Dr Granger ~ Peter Regan
Mr Goodwin ~ Lloyd Cunnington

  • Written by Ray Kolle
  • Directed by Marcus Cole
  • The popular name for the plant Evelyn uses to poison the women is "screw palm" or "tropical pandan tree". There is no indication on any website I can find that the pollen (or any other part of the plant) is poisonous.

    Dr Granger says he wants to carry out further tests on the women to confirm his suspicions. Jim reports Georgie's attack on Judy, but Erica tells him to put Georgie in solitary for now and bring Evelyn to her office immediately. Erica tries to get an admission of guilt from Evelyn but she brazens it out, knowing that Erica has no proof. Sensing that she isn't going to get anywhere, Erica visits Georgie in solitary to ask her about the incident with Judy, and seems very unsympathetic to Georgie's side of the story. When Judy is questioned, she tries to put Georgie's case, but admits she told Georgie she was lesbian and thought she felt the same way. Dr Granger gets the test results: the women were poisoned by pollen from the pandanus candelabrum plant, but he tells Erica he can't see any way Evelyn could have got hold of it, as there was none in her cell or in the prison garden. Jim is relieved that the quarantine can be lifted. Bea seems to be on the mend and learns from Dr Granger what caused the "epidemic". Putting two and two together, she works out that it must have been deliberate and also who must have been responsible. Evelyn admits to Erica that she knew of the effects of the pollen as it is a traditional poison of some Aboriginal tribes (apparently). Margo says she's going straight when she is released in a few days: her boyfriend Wayne has been released from Pentridge and has a job and a house for them both to live in. Bea asks Lizzie what she brought back from her last trip to visit Sid. Wayne arrives to see Margo out of visiting hours: Jim recognises him from Pentridge. Judy, Doreen and Lizzie still aren't convinced that Evelyn poisoned anyone, so Bea tries to get Evelyn to admit it in front of everyone. Evelyn is taken aback when Bea reveals that she knows about the pollen and she eventually admits sprinkling it on some people's food. In a panic, Evelyn runs out of the rec room and bumps into Jim. When she accuses the women of threatening her, he takes her back to the rec room, where the women follow Bea's lead and pretend not to know what he's talking about. Bea then tells the others they must be especially "nice" to Evelyn. Meg finds that Georgie has wrecked the solitary cell. Bea warns Margo to keep clear of Evelyn if she wants her release to go ahead, as things will very soon start to happen. Evelyn overhears this and scuttles back to her cell, finding it in darkness. When she ventures inside she is grabbed by the throat, but when she brings Jim back with her to investigate, the lights are on and there is no-one around. Evelyn asks Erica for a transfer to another prison, but is turned down flat. The VJ arrives to hear the charge against Sandra, but he dismisses it after Erica explains the stress Sandra was under. Sandra manages to work out from the VJ's remarks that the "epidemic" was a result of deliberate poisoning, and Vera confirms her suspicions, even hinting who may have been responsible. After visiting Georgie in solitary and noticing her failing to respond to a bell, David asks Dr Granger to examine her and confirm that she may be deaf. Sandra ignores Bea's instructions and accuses Evelyn of poisoning the women, but Evelyn responds by throwing her dinner at Sandra. Evelyn is unsettled to be left alone with Bea when Jim rushes to break up a brawl in the garden. We find out later the true reason for this diversion when Jim reports to Erica that a rope and some turpentine are missing from the garden shed. Vera finds a noose hanging in Evelyn's cell and Erica is at last forced to agree to have Evelyn transferred to Barnhurst. Bea and Lizzie act friendly towards Evelyn, but meanwhile someone (Lil?) is rigging up a booby trap under her bed using a candle, the turps and the cardigan Sandra discarded when it got stained from having Evelyn's dinner all over it. Evelyn smells burning when she returns to her cell, and pulls the tray out from under her bed, knocking the candle over and causing a flash fire that burns her face so badly she has to be taken to hospital. Vera recognises who the pink sweater belongs to, and Sandra is hauled out of her cell and taken to solitary. Jim tells her she can forget about her release which is due the next day.


    From this point in the Channel 5 run Prisoner reverted to its original early morning slot, but with an increase at first to four episodes a week, then five from the week after.

    Script Editor: Patrick Amer
    Storyliners: Dave Worthington, Alastair Sharp